" Take the time to screw the people native to the era with your almost magical knowledge of things to come (in our games, that was almost always betting on celebrity deaths and assassinations). "
Title: US Patent No. 1 by Cheapass Games
Format: Party Board Game
Reviewing Monkey: Dungapult
The Hype: Cheapass is the company that has made a name for itself by bringing incredibly clever little low price point games to market- primarily because they sacrifice some of the aesthetic appeal of the games they make and don't include any dice, counters, or other such frivolity. They're latest game, US Patent No. 1, pits you as the inventor of a time machine who must race with other inventors of similar time machines back to the US Patent office in 1790 to be the first in line. Yes, indeed, that fits the "clever" category. But does the make the jump or fall on its face? Read on, my monkeys. Read on.
What This Monkey Thought...
Playability: As with most Cheapass games, the actually rules are fairly simple and straight forward. You run around a map board, upgrading your time machine, screwing your fellow inventors, and generally doing board game oriented stuff. All in all, the rules are simple, the premise is straight forward, and the play is fun. I wish I had more to say but, frankly, it's just that straight forward. 3.75 out of 5
Learning Curve: The only slow down in playing is figuring out what all you can do on each turn you have…Because there's quite a few options. So, for the first dozen turns or so, you'll constantly be looking back at the rules to get your bearings. However, once you get past that phase, you'll be rolling like a pro. As I said above, it's nice, simple, and straightforward. What more do you want? 4 out of 5
Aesthetics: Well, as is typical in a Cheapass game, aesthetics isn't really the strong point here. In a stroke of genius, however, they took all of the images for all of the cards from old public domain patent drawings and portraits- so it not only holds a high level of graphical appeal, it's also relevant to the game's premise. Very cool. 3 out of 5
Story: Typically, we don't expect this type of board game to have much of a story and they don't get a rating here, but I was pleasantly surprised by the background for US Patent. As I said, you're trying to get the first patent on a time machine- which is funny in and of itself. But what's even cooler is the subtle accents they've added to the plot. For example, if you don't have anything better to do, or need the money, take the time to screw the people native to the era with your almost magical knowledge of things to come (in our games, that was almost always betting on celebrity deaths and assassinations). It was not only amusing, it enhanced game play…Which is sweet. +2 review points.
Value vs. Cost: Priced at a measly $7.50, you can by this game for less than it costs you to see a movie. And when you realize how many more hours of entertainment you'll get out of this than seeing "Rocky XXIV", you'll feel like a sucker spending your money anywhere else. 4.5 out of 5
|Simple, catchy, and fun- this is a great little game with a killer plot. Get up off your duff, mosey on down to your local game story, and buy it. Now, damn it! Get going!|
The Good: Fun and simple.
The Bad: A little under par visually.
The Overall Ugly: What part of "Go buy it now, damn it!" didn't you understand?
What it's Worth: Market